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Israel Uncharacteristically Understanding After Shooting Down Syrian Warplane That Entered Its Airspace

After a night of intense anti-ISIS bombing by the U.S. across the border in Syria, Israel announced it shot down a Syrian fighter jet on Tuesday morning when the plane crossed over into its airspace.

The Russian-produced Sukhoi warplane was hit in the Golan Heights — which Israeli forces seized from Syria during the 1967 war — around 9:15 a.m., after it, perhaps accidentally, entered Israel. (The pilot ejected and landed safely in Syria.) Although Israelis have responded to stray fire from the Syrian civil war and recently shot down a Syrian drone, the New York Times says this is the first such airspace violation in more than 25 years.


Americans Want More Religion in Public Life, Says New Pew Poll

The Pew Research Center released its latest survey numbers yesterday, and the biggest takeaway is that there appears to be a "growing appetite for religion in politics," as the organization puts it. But this probably has more to do with folks who were already religious responding to the last few years than with previously secular Americans suddenly seeing the light.


What We Know So Far About the Khorasan Group, the More ‘Imminent’ Threat Than ISIS

While ISIS has captured international attention with its very public, bloodthirsty tactics, a terrorist group some American officials say is more intent on actually striking the United States is operating in the shadows, and on the margins of the national security conversation. Identified only this month as the Khorasan group, veteran Al Qaeda fighters now based in Syria, the cell is “potentially yet another threat to the homeland, yes,” said director of national intelligence James Clapper last week, adding that “in terms of threat to the homeland, Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State.” Or, based on last night’s surprise bombings, an even greater threat.


Paul Ryan Declares War Against Math

Paul Ryan has emerged from his long post-election period of repositioning, soul-searching, and secretly but not secretly visiting the poor. He had been caricatured as an Ayn Rand miser and attacked as a social Darwinist, merely for proposing the largest upward transfer of wealth in American history. Ryan has identified the root cause of his difficulties, and it is fiscal arithmetic.

The new Ryan, now fully formed, emerges in an interview with Philip Klein that is revealing precisely for its evasiveness. The overview of Ryan’s new strategy must be pieced together from several elements.


Which American State Should Secede?

Britain has decided to remain whole, but the secession fever gripping the world has not yet broken. Catalonia will hold a non-binding vote on independence in November, and a number of other European regions are contemplating going it alone.

There’s always some idle secession chatter in the freedom-and-independence-loving United States, too. A new poll shows one in four Americans support “the idea of your state peacefully withdrawing from the United States of America and the federal government.” 

But could it ever be more than a rhetorical phenomenon in the States? It seems unlikely, given that those who benefit most from union are those most interested in secession. 


Meet 2 Dogs That Survived Michael Vick’s Dogfighting Ring

In 2007, more than 50 dogs were seized from the Virginia property of Michael Vick, now the New York Jets backup quarterback, who was funding a dogfighting ring. Dogs who lost had been horrifically killed—by electrocution, drowning, hanging—but champion dogs didn’t fare much better. One, Lucas, contracted a blood disease—via open wounds—so acute that he had to be euthanized. You can find a headstone for him at Best Friends Animal Society’s sanctuary, in Utah, which was tasked with trying to rehabilitate the 22 most challenging “Vicktory Dogs.” Animals rescued from dogfighting rings are often deemed too dangerous to live with humans, but only one from the Vick case was put down for being violent; many have been adopted. The dogs, all pit bulls, have been trained, with varying degrees of success, in how to maintain their cool when confronted with stimuli that might trigger aggression or fear.


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